The month of July has seen an uptick of suicide deaths in Garfield County. As a coalition we work to train individuals what warning signs to be aware of when someone may be on the path of suicide. 1) Mental health changes. These could be periods of stress, depression, anger, isolation, etc. 2) Major behavior changes that do not resolve themselves. People who are having a difficult time coping may begin to engage in behaviors that are not beneficial. These could be drinking when they haven’t previously, doing drugs, abnormal sleep patterns, or engaging in risky activities. 3) Saying something. This could be slipped in to a conversation, or said outright. Things like: “My family would be better off without me”, “I can’t keep going on like this”, “I’m done, I don’t want to be here anymore”. These three things together should be red flags that someone in your life is having a difficult time.
What should you do if you know someone and you’re worried about them? First, reach out to them. Ask them how they are doing. Present them with the evidence that has made you worried. Second, ask them if they have thoughts of hurting, or killing themselves. This is a tough one, and people wonder if it might bring harm to ask this question. Point blank: asking someone who isn’t suicidal if they are going to kill themselves will not put that idea in their head, and for those who may be having thoughts of suicide avoidance of the topic may be most detrimental. Third, if they are dealing with a crisis of any kind reach out to a crisis line. Both the Hope Center and Mind Springs Health have 24 hour crisis services in our valley. They can be reached at 970-925-5858 and 888-207-4004 respectively.
While there may not be a common thread to fully explain these incidents, we want to communicate that there is hope and resources available to those who are in crisis.
If you, or someone you know needs to talk about their mental health please reach out to one of these organizations:
Hope Center: 970-925-5858
Mind Springs Crisis: 888-207-4004
Colorado Crisis Services: 844-493-8255 (TALK), or text TALK to 38255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255